Located near the city of Beit Shean in the Jordan Valley, less than an hour drive from the City of Haifa and the Mediterranean Sea shore, the Middle Chalcolithic site of Tel Tsaf has long been thought as one of the promising sites for studying the transition to complex societies in the Near East. This large site is distinguished by its superb preservation of mudbrick architecture and organic materials, as well as by its burials, the earliest metal object in the southern Levant, as well as evidence for large-scale storage and long distance trade. The site was first reported in the survey of the region conducted during the 1940’s and 1950’s and Small-scale excavations were conducted there in the years 1978–1980. New excavations started in 2004 however these were shortly halted in 2007.
A renewed multidisciplinary research project was initiated at Tel Tsaf, co-directed by Prof. Danny Rosenberg of the Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa and Dr. Florian Klimscha of the Eurasia Department of the German Archaeological Institute, Berlin. The principal goals of the renewed project are to explore various aspects of social and economic organization of the community both on the household level and the community levels during the Neolithic-Chalcolithic transition in the Near East and the establishment of the Mediterranean diet. The superb preservation of mudbrick architecture and organic remains at the sites offers ideal conditions to study these changes during the formative stages of the Late Chalcolithic period and the ecological settings of these changes.
Our vivid multinational team is composed of archaeologists, researchers and experts in various fields, students and volunteers from different countries around the globe that work shoulder to shoulder in the field and lab.
In the 2021 season we will continue to explore the village in Area C as well as exploring the western part of the tel in Area E. We will also test specific location around the tel. This season we plan to continue in our efforts to retrieve bio-archaeological data in order to reconstruct past environment in the Jordan Valley and better understand the site economy.
Jordan Valley, Israel
Middle Chalcolithic (5,200 – 4,600 years cal B.C.E.)
May 1, 2021
Academic credits may be available—please contact us directly; awarded by the University of Haifa
We are staying at Kibbutz Kfar Rupin B&B, about a 15-minute drive from Tel Tsaf. The fee covers accommodations, program activities and meals for the season, as well as entrance to the kibbutz swimming pool. Each room is for 3–5 persons. Amenities include a shower and toilet, electric kettle, microwave oven and a refrigerator. The cost for accommodation is $100 per week.
Yes — by appointment
Danny Rosenberg is a Professor of Archaeology and the head of the Laboratory for Ground Stone Tools Research in the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa.
Florian Klimscha is in the Eurasia Department of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin and is the curator of archaeological collections at the Federal State Museum in Hannover, Germany.